These celebrity chefs aren’t just being hailed for serving up hot meals on television – they’re also feeding first responders and families who have been displaced by the California wildfires.
José Andrés and his charity, World Central Kitchen, have traveled around the world to feed people during every kind of natural disaster. In the past, they have made headlines for giving away millions of free meals to victims of Hurricane Florence and Hurricane Maria.
In Puerto Rico alone, he served over 3.6 million meals – and kitchen volunteers stayed for an entire year to keep making food for the recovering nation.
During Hurricane Florence, he and his team were the only hunger relief operation still operating locally during the brunt of the storm.
Now, he and Food Network chef Tyler Florence are working alongside dozens of other volunteers in Camp and Woolsley, California so they can feed firefighters who are tirelessly tackling the blaze.
In addition to writing handwritten notes of gratitude on the lunch bags, they are also hand-delivering the meals to first responders on the scene of the fire and animal shelters that are taking care of displaced pets.
Our WCK Food First Responders delivered dinner tonight to the Camarillo animal shelter, which is housing many pets rescued from the #WoolseyFire! They are working non-stop to protect our furry friends and reunite them with their parents! 🐶 🐱 🐰 🐴 #ChefsForCalifornia pic.twitter.com/DQAeB005LD— WorldCentralKitchen (@WCKitchen) November 12, 2018
Lunch drop off to LA County Fire teams, with notes of gratitude written on bags from our younger volunteers! This is Nathan, who remembered WCK’s @cheftkilcoyne from the Carr Fire in August. Proud to support them once again! #ChefsForCalifornia #WoolseyFire pic.twitter.com/4FKz0HvFSL— WorldCentralKitchen (@WCKitchen) November 12, 2018
Our @WCKitchen Food First Responders serving fresh meals to these heroes from Fillmore putting out #WoolsleyFire flare ups in Westlake! They are working non-stop with big threat from winds starting tonight... #ChefsForCalifornia pic.twitter.com/HvCjepzA1j— José Andrés (@chefjoseandres) November 11, 2018
Celebrity chef Guy Fieri also fired up his stovetop this week to make dinner for the police officers currently stationed at Butte College, as well as the evacuees and firefighters in Chico.
“Guy Fieri made a surprise visit to serve dinner to everyone at the law enforcement staging area at Butte College,” wrote the Butte County Sheriff’s Twitter page. “Thank you so much Guy for filling our bellies and lifting our spirits.”
This is not the first time that Fieri has offered his culinary assistance, either; shortly after evacuating his own home in Santa Rosa last year, Fieri served thousands of meals to first responders and California families.
“In today’s tumultuous world, it’s amazing to see our fire fighters, military, law enforcement and first responders come together to rescue our communities devastated by fire,” wrote Fieri. “So many great people stepping up to take care of one another.”
Guy Fieri made a surprise visit to serve dinner to everyone at the law enforcement staging area at Butte College. Thank you so much Guy for filling our bellies and lifting our spirits. #ButteSheriff #CampFire pic.twitter.com/ZnhNxOa81n— Butte County Sheriff (@ButteSheriff) November 12, 2018
Meanwhile, billionaire CEO Elon Musk recently volunteered his specially-equipped Tesla models to assist with transportation.
“If Tesla can help people in California wildfire, please let us know,” the Tesla CEO said. “Model S & X have hospital grade HEPA filters. Maybe helpful for transporting people.”
Though there has been no concrete statements about moving forward with the initiative, Chef Andrés enthusiastically suggested that the Teslas could be used to deliver meals to first responders in regions with higher air pollution.
Other Tesla users have simply taken to social media to vouch for the Tesla air filter’s efficiency.
“#ModelX HEPA filter was a massive help as we evacuated the #WoolseyFire last night,” says Twitter user Scott Spiro. “Air was unbreathable and literally caused my lungs to hurt until I got in the vehicle. Thank you #Tesla”
Finally, grocery chain Trader Joes has also reportedly been delivering donated food and supplies to volunteers in the afflicted areas.
#ChefsForCalifornia are up and running at full force, preparing thousands of fresh meals for evacuees + first responders. Thank you Trader Joe’s for the food drop! Want to volunteer? Info coming soon! 100% of donations go to meals: https://t.co/GsXLDnc7bv #WoolseyFire #CampFire pic.twitter.com/yaR37NTKjO— WorldCentralKitchen (@WCKitchen) November 10, 2018
(WATCH the food delivery in action below) – Photo by José Andrés
This is what it’s all about! Giving a smile and hot nutritious meals to those displaced. This is where some displaced families from the #campfireparadise are living ! We served 500 meals in this make shift POD! #ChefsForCalifornia @WCKitchen pic.twitter.com/iINdWo1HQ7— Jason Collis (@chefjasoncollis) November 11, 2018